White House Desperate to Rein in Saudi ‘Loose Cannon’: US Analyst
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An American political analyst said the White House now views Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman as a “loose cannon” who has turned into an “international liability”, adding that Washington is trying to keep a tight rein on him.
“Well, I think there is a number of issues going on. First of all, we have to understand the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States. Saudi Arabia is probably one of the United States' closest allies in the Middle East along with Israel. And Saudi Arabia is also a major export market for American armaments. Recently, there was a multibillion-dollar arms deal between the United States and Saudi Arabia and this is a major boom to American arms manufacturers. This is essentially a foreign export market for armaments that is underwritten by the American government. So, there are a lot of vested interest who want to preserve this relationship,” Keith Preston, the chief editor of AttacktheSystem, told Tasnim.
The United States and Saudi Arabia are connected at every level, he added.
Referring to the situation in Yemen, Preston described it as serious.
“That is now the worst humanitarian crisis anywhere in the world. And it's become something bringing a lot of international criticism to the Saudis. It's gotten to the point even that the American media cannot ignore what is happening in Yemen. Until very recently, America's media almost never reported on anything to do with the war in Yemen not even the anti-Trump media. I mean much of the media in the United States is affiliated with the Democratic Party, which is the opposition party to the president’s administration, but even those networks did not report what was happening in Yemen. But that changed recently. Recently MSNBC, actually did run a story about what's happening in Yemen. So, the Yemen situation has gotten so bad that it can't be ignored by American policy makers or by the American media.
“As far as the Khashoggi incident (is concerned), he, Mohammad bin Salman, made a mistake of having someone killed who was actually a prominent American journalist. Even though he was in Saudi Arabia, he had been living in United States for years and actually written for some major newspapers. So, this is not someone that they can just hush up or sweep under the rug. Particularly, because of the role of the Turks in this, because the Turks actually may have recordings of this and that, and they have been, the Turks, the Turkish government has actually been providing this to the international media and the Turkish government I think by the way is being very shrewd. What they are trying to do is trying to work and drive a wedge between the Americans and the Saudis and they are playing this strategically very well. But this has gotten to be a situation that United States simply can't ignore and now a bill has been introduced in the American Senate, legislation has been introduced that would halt arm sales to Saudi Arabia. ... If it passes, the president, Donald Trump, would have to sign again the legislation. So, this is still something that is in the works.”
Noting that the prince has overstepped certain boundaries, Preston said, “I think the best probable solution that the Americans ultimately prefer and I suspect that behind the scenes the Americans are working with the Saudi Royal family to work to have this individual removed from power”.
Watch the full interview here: